Monday 18 November 2019

Equestrian: O'Connor stars in Barcelona

Louise Parkes

Cian O'Connor enjoyed a successful weekend at the 5-Star fixture in Barcelona, Spain with two runner-up placings and fifth spot in Saturday's Grand Prix riding the promising Carpe Diem.

O'Connor (31) produced one of just three clears in the first round of the Grand Prix with the 11-year-old gelding. However his fast four faults in the second round saw him having to settle for fifth place as the reigning Olympic champion, Canada's Eric Lamaze, scooped the winner's purse with the only double-clear of the competition on Atlete Van T'Heike.

On Thursday O'Connor, riding Ballymore Eustace, was just pipped by Italy's Emanuel Gaudiano and Dessino in the Two-Phase class before steering Carpe Diem into runner-up spot in the 1.50 Speed event.

Meanwhile at Lanaken in Belgium, six Irish horses qualified for the closing stages of the prestigious World Breeding Federation Young Horse Championships yesterday, and three finished with top-10 placings.

With 280 starters in the five-year-old category, 270 in the six-year-olds and 220 in the seven-year-old division, the ribbons were hotly contested and Harry Marshall steered David Campbell's grey stallion Derryinver Luxury Cruise by Lux Z, into ninth in the six-year-old category.

Irish-bred NLS Coole Al Clover finished fourth in the seven-year-olds for Finland's Nina Fagerstrom and Tipperary man Trevor Breen was 10th with Oldtown KC.

Irish Independent

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